being left

Posted: June 11, 2010 by leftsock in fiction

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In the beginning he was nameless.

He was not even a he, really — not an individual but part of a greater whole. A matched pair. They were so similar it was hard to tell them apart. They travelled together through puddles and snow, through mud and grass, and when the lazy hot summer days would roll around they’d nestle together in the cool of the house, biding their time.

“We’re cut from the same cloth,” they’d say to each other with secret smiles. The shirts upstairs would roll their eyes but it didn’t matter.

There were, of course, brief moments of separation, times when they’d lose each other in the crowd. Then he’d hold his breath, keeping the air wrapped up tight inside as if he’d unravel in her absence. When the hand of God reunited them, they’d cling together in a tight ball, his skin on hers.

One day mid-winter they turned to each other, restless. “Let’s go partying!” they exclaimed. There were only a few places to go out in the area, and they’d exhausted The Basket, so they agreed upon The Machine, a dark, exclusive hang-out that ran regular lock-ins.

They almost didn’t make it in. The venue was packed, thrumming with excitement. The doors locked. The walls began to shake, the drinks to flow. They swayed back and forth with the crush of the crowd and stretched out, dancing.

That’s when it happened. A shirt shoved rudely between them, heading for the other side, and they were torn apart. He looked round and round. There! Was that her? By the time he’d made his way over, she was nowhere to be seen. Again, turning, searching — nothing. The rough-housing crowd that had seemed so benign was now an insurmountable obstacle, strangling him.

He pushed his way to the side and leaned against the wall to catch his breath, his head spinning, his limbs heavy with drink. The wall was soap-slippery; he slid down the side, through a crack in the wall to a hidden room underneath where it was dark and lonely. He lifted his head groggily, stared upwards but could not see the exit. He was trapped.

“Hello? Anyone here?” Without the echo of her voice, his words sounded flat. “Hello? I need help!” But no one could hear him over the throbbing of the drum. He was alone, half of what he used to be. Incomplete.

Don’t panic, he thought. When the party finished someone would find him, and they’d be reunited. They’d nestle together in bed and laugh at his fears.

Finally the doors unlocked. The Machine began to empty. He called out for help. She’d be waiting just outside, growing anxious, eyes fixed on the door in the way people waited for their luggage, their heart leaping every time only to sink back down in disappointment. He called out again. The sounds were growing dimmer, the passing rustle of the crowd softer and softer still.

Then it was silent. A few minutes passed before he realized only he was Left.

A story about a left sock.

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  1. awww! poor little left sock.
    I loved the Machine nightclub and the rolling out of the sock/laundry universe :-)

  2. “A little nonsense now and then, is relished by the wisest men.”

    This is wonderful, funny, creative, well thought through, and just plain whimsical. Just what one needs to read from time to time to maintain contact with the “inner goof”.

    Well, at least mine. Keeps me grounded.

    Thanks for letting mine squee with delight. Much appreciated!

    • leftsock says:

      Thanks for this comment! I’m glad you enjoyed it. I always think I am not that good at whimsical, and then pieces like this come out…

  3. Rebecca says:

    Aww what a cute story! I think my children would enjoy it too…

  4. I thought you did a great job with the descriptions and made it easy for the reader to visualize your imaginings.
    I’m a HUGE fan of the silly and whimsical. I enjoyed this very much.
    Welcome to fridayflash!

    • leftsock says:

      Thank you! The descriptions were the hardest part — hard to convey a washing machine without saying what it actually is? Heh.

  5. pablo abstar says:


  6. Laurita says:

    I loved this! It was silly (I love silly) and so well woven (pardon the pun). Top notch debut.

  7. Aidan Fritz says:

    Amusing little tale. I’ll have to double-check the washer to make sure I’m not breaking up any couples. :) Welcome to #fridayflash

  8. Oh yes I do so love the laundry genre. You had me grinning from beginning to end with this, thank you.

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